Facebook, texting, Instagram, emailing, Twitter, Snapchat....this blog! Technology has done a pretty amazing job connecting people better over the last couple of decades. Or has it? The question contemporary sociologists are posing today is: Does having hundreds of followers or thousands of friends make us truly feel more connected or is it making us feel more alone? The growing research points to an actual increase in feelings of loneliness and disconnectedness among those in the facebook generation.1 Why? To put it simply: we're not actually compelled to leave our social media-machines (i.e. cell phones and computers) and go interact with people. The faster pace and increasing demands of work and school only perpetuate the compulsion to stay plugged in. Luckily, there are still wonderful facets of life that prevent us from heading straight into a world of soma, obstacle golf, and conditioning centers. Girls night, book clubs, classroom discussions, phone calls, brunch dates, pot luck get-togethers....THANKSGIVING! These are a few of my favorite things and things that I hold sacred enough not to dilute with too much tech. Every week I look forward to getting together with some girlfriends and cooking a meal. We take turns bringing ingredients and/or hosting. We catch up, cook, eat, and enjoy. It helps me stay sane. The recipe below is for my very favorite Chicken Pot Pie-- a dish I made at one of these girls' nights. It's part of my Thanksgiving post because Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (surprise, surprise), and this is a great dish to make with turkey leftovers OR just because you're around the ones you love and want to show them how much. Although I am ever-grateful for advancing technology, next Thursday I'll be sticking with my non-updated version of Thanksgiving and expressing my gratitude for wonderful friends, family and health in person at an actual table!
p.s. If you do decide to use turkey leftovers, just use store-bought low sodium chicken broth in place of making your own as seen in the recipe below
Chicken Pot Pie
2 lb raw chicken breast, cut into 3 inch pieces
4 cloves of garlic
1 Tablespoons salt
½ Tablespoon pepper
1 sprig of Rosemary
7 Cups of water
Pot Pie Stew:
2 Cups diced yellow onion
1.5 Cups diced carrot
1.5 Cups diced celery
6 Tablespoons butter
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons rosemary
1 bay leaf
¾ Cup corn starch + ¼ Cup cold water
1/3 Cup dry sherry wine
6 Cups chicken stock (from above)
1 Cup frozen green peas
1/2 Cup heavy cream
1 package frozen puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon water
- Fill a medium pot with 7 Cups of water.
- Chop the garlic and add it to the pot of water. Add salt, pepper, and rosemary to the pot as well.
- Place the cut, raw chicken in the pot. Cover the pot with a lid and cook over low, medium heat.
- Reduce the heat to low once it comes to a boil. Keeping the lid on, continue cooking for 15-20 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, remove the lid, and allow the chicken and the resulting chicken stock to cool.
- Start the process of cooking the pot pie stew (directions below). During the step of waiting for the veggies to cook, use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the stock. Cube the cooked chicken and set aside. Save the chicken stock (throw out the solids) because it is the stock you will use for the pot pie stew.
- In a large saucepan, sauté onions, carrots, and celery, in butter over low/medium heat. Once the onions start to turn transparent, add garlic and herbs in.
- In a small bowl, mix the corn starch with ¼ Cup cold water. Stir until a smooth paste is formed. (this step helps you avoid the clumps that would form if corn starch was added directly to the hot pan).
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees
- Once the carrots have softened slightly, lower the heat. Add the corn starch paste to the sautéed vegetables and stir constantly to form a roux.
- Add chicken stock and sherry and stir to make sure clumps don’t form. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, and the mixture will become thicker. Turn the heat down to low.
- Add chicken breast and stir to combine.
- Add heavy cream, stir, and bring the mixture to a boil once more. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 3 minutes or until thickened.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir and allow the pot pie stew mixture to cool.
- Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper
- In a small bowl use a fork to beat the egg with the water and set aside.
- Sprinkle the counter lightly with flour.
- Roll some refrigerated puff pastry to 1/8 inch thick. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter cut circles that are ½ wider than the rim of your individual ramekins or mini-pie dishes.
- Fill each ramekin or mini-pie dish 80% full with the warm pot pie mixture
- Brush each circle of dough with egg wash and place each circle of dough egg-washed-side down on top of each of the filled ramekins.
- Cut a small slit in the middle of the pastry.
- Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash. Place each of the completed ramekins/ mini-pie dishes on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 15 minutes in the pre-heated oven. Decrease the heat to 400 degrees and bake until the crust is puffed and golden brown (another 15-20 minutes)
Recipe Adapted from Beth-Ann McFarland-Lyons' recipe at her restaurant Kitchen 324
Photo Credits: KiwiConfections